Disabilities Issues Office

Accessibility Advisory Council

Accessibility Advisory Council Minutes

Monday, October 22, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Room 610, Norquay Building
401 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Present: Jim Derksen (Chairperson), Yvonne Peters, Judy Redmond, Karen Pirnie, Diane Scribe Niiganii, Diane Driedger, Jim Baker, Scott Jocelyn, Doug Momotiuk, John Wyndels, Audrey McIlraith, Eileen Clarke (via teleconference)

Absent (with regrets): Lanny McInnes, Chris Summerville

The agenda was approved without changes. This being the first meeting since June, we did not review the minutes of the previous meeting, which was held prior to the release of the Council’s report.

The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson discussed their August meeting with Civil Legal Services and the legislative drafter. It was an opportunity for the Chair and Vice-Chair to discuss the spirit and intent of recommendations and ensure a consistent translation from the AAC report to the legal language of the legislation. All parties shared a mutual understanding of the content and structure envisioned by the Council recommendations. 

One of the suggestions made by council members after submitting the report and discussions with the legislative drafter was making slight changes to the wording of two of the accessibility principles contained in the report. A re-wording was prepared prior to the Council meeting for approval. It would subsequently be forwarded to the Minister to accept and sent on to the legislative drafters for incorporation into the act. The proposals do not in any way change the meaning or the content of the principle. 

  1. Access

 Current Wording: Barriers should not prevent a person from accessing places, events and other functions that are generally available in the community;

Proposed Rewording: All persons should have barrier-free access to places, events and other functions that are generally available in the community.

  1. Equality:

Current Wording: Barriers should not prevent a person from accessing those things that will give the person equality of opportunity and outcome;

Proposed Rewording: All persons should have barrier-free access to those things that will give them equality of opportunity and outcome.

Action: The proposals be forwarded to the Minister for approval.

The meeting was used primarily to review the submissions from the public regarding Council’s final report to the Minister, including recommendations on the structure and content of substantive accessibility legislation. The Secretary to the Council shared with Council members a prepared document with the salient points of all responses. It was a thorough discussion outlining the merits of many points made in the responses.
Action: It was agreed that a memo be prepared for the Minister outlining specific thoughts, concerns and recommendations made by the public that should be considered in the drafting of accessibility legislation. 

The has a ticket for Kevin Stolarick to come to Winnipeg before April 15, 2013. It is the carry-over of an event we bought Kevin a ticket to, but never realized. Kevin is the Research Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He is also the co-author of Releasing Constraints: The Economic Benefits from Increased Accessibility in Ontario. It was discussed how we could best showcase his persuasive arguments to the business community.
Action: The Secretary of the Council would work with business members of the Council in finding an appropriate forum for Kevin Stolarick to present his findings.

The final portion of the meeting discussed activities on December 3, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Minister traditionally uses this opportunity to make announcements concerning government initiatives regarding persons with disabilities. The Council discussed accessibility legislation and how it could be presented on December 3. Without a clear indication from the Minister, the Council was unsure what information could be prepared to further the public’s understanding of legislation, while at the same time being in step with the government’s timeframe for the introduction of legislation.
Action: Discuss with the Minister appropriate actions for December 3 regarding legislation.

No date was established for the next meeting of the Council.

Share This